I Quit

I'm out of breath. And sweating like a...pig. I don't know, do pigs really sweat?

Anyway, I have challenged myself to work out for 100 days in a row. I just completed my third day.

I started a work out tonight and about a third of the way through I wanted to quit. I actually turned the video off.

It was hard. It was the weight lifting portion and I really just wanted to throw my weights at the guy on the screen telling me we weren't done yet.

The thing is, I always regret giving up. Always. Every. Stinkin. Time.

I don't recall ever wishing I hadn't finished something.

The things I regret are the things I was too afraid to try or the things I was too lazy to finish.

So I asked myself the questions I've learned to ask when I feel like quitting.

1. What will it look like if I quit? How will I feel tomorrow when I think about this moment? What will it feel like to have to start over next time, knowing I quit this time?

2. What will it look like if I keep going? How will I feel when I'm done? What benefits will I receive if I persevere? What will it look like and how will I feel when I reach the goal that this difficult situation is working toward?

And I turned the video back on and finished the work out.

It feels amazing to finish something hard. To be able to ponder the complexity and the adversity and to know that I finished anyway in spite of those things. Not only does that feel amazing but it's an amazing opportunity to see God working in my life.

I know that working out isn't some major spiritual battle, but for me, it kind of is. It's discipline. It's me training to do hard things. It's me working through something difficult simply because it's the right thing to do. I might not feel like it and I may not want to but it's the right thing to do.

And I'm thankful that I didn't miss this beautiful moment where I got to see God's mighty power working through my weakness.

I love 1 Peter 5:6-11.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
I especially love verses 9 and 10. It's so comforting to know that people all over the world are having the same kinds of struggles that I am. And that the God of all grace is going to restore, confirm, strengthen and establish me.

But I have to keep going. If I quit I rob Him of that opportunity.

Persevering doesn't mean I don't pray my way through it. I've prayed my way through many work outs (as well as many way more important moments).  It doesn't mean that I put my head down and barrel through. Persevering means exactly the opposite. It means that I humble myself under the mighty hand of God. It means I cast all of my anxieties on Him. It means I acknowledge the presence and work of the enemy.

Life is full of hard choices and difficult moments. Those hard choices and difficult moments build character and construct hope (Romans 5).

God is there in those hard choices and difficult moments. Just. hold. on.

After a while, "the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."

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